House approves bill that protects IDs of police involved in shootings

The state House of Representatives passed, 157–39, legislation sponsored by Rep. Martina White (R-170th dist.) that would prohibit the release of the name of a police officer involved in a firearm discharge or use of force for 30 days or until the end of an investigation, whichever is shorter.

The city and state Fraternal Order of Police support the measure.

Voting in favor of the bill were Reps. White, Tom Murt (R-152nd dist.), John Taylor (R-177th dist.), Kevin Boyle (D-172nd dist.), Mike Driscoll (D-173rd dist.), Ed Neilson (D-174th dist.) and Jared Solomon (D-202nd dist.). Voting against the bill were Reps. Jason Dawkins (D-179th dist.) and Isabella Fitzgerald (D-203rd dist.). The bill now moves to the Senate.

Last year, the House and Senate passed a similar bill, but it was vetoed by Gov. Tom Wolf, and there was no time to override the veto. This time, a veto override is likely.

“As we’ve seen across the country, shootings involving police officers have become so politically charged that the officers’ lives and their families can be endangered even if the use of force was justified,” White said. “House Bill 27 offers a way to protect our police until the facts of the case in question come out. I want to protect the good officers from being tried in public, while making sure those who break the law are tried in court.”

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The state House passed, 147–39, an increase in funding for the Educational Improvement Tax Credit and the Opportunity Scholarship Tax Credit.

Local lawmakers voting in favor of the funding increase were Reps. Tom Murt, Martina White, Kevin Boyle, Mike Driscoll, Ed Neilson and John Taylor.

Voting against the funding increase were Reps. Jason Dawkins and Jared Solomon.

Freshman Rep. Isabella Fitzgerald did not vote.

All votes against came from Democrats. ••